|One of the best musicians of his time left us with no recording of his music.
Buddy Bolden's career came to a sad and untimely end, so we will never hear the
sounds New Orleanians who gathered in Johnson Park heard, when Buddy lifted
his cornet toward the sky and "called his children home" to dance to his music.
|Buddy Bolden's Band some time before 1895.
Standing, left to right, William Warner; Willie Cornish; Charles "Buddy" Bolden;
James Johnson; seated, Frank Lewis; Jeff "Brock" Mumford.
|Buddy Bolden was buried in a pauper's grave in Holt Cemetery in New Orleans. The
exact location is unknown. A monument was placed in the cemetery in 1998:
In memory of Charles Joseph "Buddy" Bolden
September 6, 1877 - November 4, 1931
In an unmarked grave near here rests
Legendary Cornet Player
New Orleans Jazz Pioneer
and First "King of Jazz"
"The blowingist man since Gabriel" -- Jelly Roll Morton
|In his twenties, Buddy began exhibiting unusual behavior, including paranoia and
intolerable headaches. In 1907, at the age of 30 and at the height of his career,
incidents happened at home that made his mother and sister feel unsafe with
him and, eventually, reluctantly, his mother signed papers to have him
committed to the Louisiana State Asylum. Because psychiatric care in those
days was not advanced, there was no proper treatment for his illness, which
was diagnosed as what is now known as schizophrenia. He remained in the
hospital for the rest of his life, dying there in 1931, at the age of 54.